Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Denso joint venture targets medical IoT

Steve Rogerson
September 17, 2019
 
Japanese mobility company Denso has established a joint venture medical IoT company with venture capitalist Beyond Next Ventures.
 
The OPExPark joint venture is a carve-out to develop the businesses using the OPeLink information platform, which constantly provides data gathered from equipment in operating theatres. The data are conventionally handled individually, with data in a consistent format so they can be used by any device.
 
All equipment information and biometric information accumulated in OPeLink is extracted, processed and distributed to visualise the surgeon's judgment. This makes it possible to share complex tacit knowledge that can be acquired only in an operating theatre, with physicians around the world.
 
OPExPark will develop and sell systems that integrate information from surgery equipment, produce educational content for physicians and offer distribution services.
 
Beyond Next Ventures, which provides incubation funding for technology start-ups mainly in life sciences, has a commercialisation acceleration programme called Brave. This is a commercialisation support programme focusing on technology seeds at universities and other organisations. It prepares business strategies and business plans in the initial phase and offers opportunities to strengthen the management team and tap financial resources and networks. OPExPark is a carve-out from the first company that used this programme.
 
A carve-out is a venture company established by carving out part of a business to use managerial resources such as funding and human resources from external partners to accelerate growth.
 
With support from AMED and in cooperation with five universities and 11 companies, Denso developed OPeLink, an information platform for distributing data gathered from surgical equipment. It uses visualisations of the data taken from the equipment to share information that was previously difficult to track and communicate widely among medical teams.
 
OPeLink has been installed at Hiroshima University Hospital, Shinshu University Hospital and Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital.
 
The new company will develop and sell systems that integrate information from surgery equipment by using OPeLink, produce educational content for learning about the latest surgery at any time and anywhere based on the data extracted from the systems, and offer services and educational content for physicians around the world. The business will start in October.
 
Denso is a $48.3bn mobility supplier that develops technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, the company invests in its 211 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification and electronic systems. It has more than 170,000 employees and is headquartered in Kariya, Japan.